Usuthu skipper leading from the front

AmaZulu midfield kingpin Nhlanhla Vilakazi feels their camaraderie will see them through. / Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix
AmaZulu midfield kingpin Nhlanhla Vilakazi feels their camaraderie will see them through. / Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix
Image: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

It's seldom that a player arrives at a club and is immediately appointed captain. But Nhlanhla Vilakazi did exactly that.

In his first season at AmaZulu, Vilakazi's impressive leadership qualities were so hard to ignore that the club took the unconventional step of making him team skipper.

"I guess they just saw how committed and dedicated I am, and I was very honoured when I was given the armband," Vilakazi said.

"We have a bunch of young players who are willing to learn and I was humbled that the players also had a say because they voted for me to be captain.

"Our coach [Cavin Johnson] is someone who understands players and has provided leadership in tough times."

Vilakazi has already led the team through stormy waters including the period when the club was docked six points in September by Fifa for failing to pay out former player Phinheas Nambandi.

The midfielder admits that it was tough after the club was plunged to the bottom of the PSL table.

"Our players are willing to work, so we had to focus on our games and not worry about stuff that does not concern us as players," he said.

The 31-year-old will be looked upon to once again ead his team against Kaizer Chiefs at the King Zwelithini Stadium tomorrow (7.30pm).

Usuthu have clawed their way up the standings to 12th with 17 points from 17 games.

"It will be a challenge to lead our young group of guys against a big club like Chiefs. But we are up for it and these are the games where these boys can make a name for themselves," he said.

"Chiefs will obviously be a tough opponent but we are not looking at it that way. For us it's just another game where we must collect points."

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